poems sent from dickinson to higginson

Thomas Johnson's Note on Poem 1619

MANUSCRIPT: There are three drafts, two written about 1884, and a third (variant) two years later. The fair copy written in 1884 (Bingham 98-3-l9) is reproduced above. The worksheet draft (Bingham 98-3-20), written at the same time, is jotted down with no attempt at line arrangement. There is a dash after "come" and "Shore"; it is otherwise identical with the fair copy above. The later variant is incorporated in a letter (BPL Higg l0l) written to T. W. Higginson in early spring 1886. She has been commenting in the letter about her shock and grief over the death of Helen Hunt Jackson; she describes her final meeting with Mrs. Jackson. and these lines follow:

Not knowing when Herself may come
I open every Door,
Or has she Feathers, like a Bird
Or billows, like a Shore-

PUBLICATION: The earlier version is in Poems (1896), l09, titled "Dawn." The variant to Higginson is in Letters (ed. 1931 only), 320.

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Commentary copyright 1998 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
Maintained by Lara Vetter <lv26@umail.umd.edu>
Last updated on September 26, 1998